By Sarah Kirby The Norman Transcript, Okla.
Former sisters-in-law Michelle Wishnuck and Lisa Talley both love planning birthday parties for their children.
Thankfully, there has never been a shortage on event venues to choose from in Norman. When it came to catering options to go with each space, their options were limited.
They put their business savvy and party planning expertise together to create a solution in the form of Events at Madison Square, 480 24th Ave., Suite 132.
Members of the Norman Chamber of Commerce celebrated the opening of the venue with a red ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday.
"We just really wanted a space to have a small birthday party or a large birthday party, and along the way, we found out Norman had a need for an event center where you could bring in your own food and you didn't have to use an exclusive caterer," Wishnuck said. "That's a lot of the feedback we've been getting -- all of people are excited they can bring in their own food and pick their own caterer."
With more than 5,000 total square feet, Events at Madison Square can help create and customize celebrations for up to 250 guests or scale down to a more intimate affair for 20.
There are three party rooms, two of which can be joined to form one larger party room, and one small conference room. Each party room has access to a large prep kitchen.
The space can serve as the backdrop for weddings, receptions, corporate events, fundraisers, holidays parties and birthday parties.
The venue also can function of corporate functions, conferences and seminars.
"We have a lot of Chamber events and corporate events that we're booking, too," Talley said. "We have audio and visual equipment for presentations."
Built by Sassan K. Moghadam of Arias Development in Norman as part of his Madison Square project, the interior aesthetic was designed with high-end and industrial style.
"We wanted simple, clean lines -- that way, it gives people a blank canvas for people to decorate however they want," Wishnuck said.
Their shared venture adds another dimension to their personal and professional lives. Talley is the owner and broker, with Arias Real Estate Group, and is mother of three children. Wishnuck is also a mother of three children. Each has a working style that complements the other, the two women said.
"This is her baby, and I'm a multi-tasking entrepreneur. This is something we've dreamt to do for so long that it's actually come together very easily. She had the vision and had the eye for the design and decor -- she knew exactly what she wanted," Talley said.
For both women, the business has already come full circle with an emphasis on family.
"We're excited to be in Madison Square because it's a family owned business -- it just makes it that much more special. It's also in a central area here in Norman," Talley said.
For more information, including prices and packages, visit eventsnorman.com.